Asserting that she would continue to raise her voice against any attempt to divide voters on communal lines, chief minister Mamata Banerjee on Thursday said that the Election Commission may serve 10 show cause notices on her but she won’t change her stance.
The poll panel had on Wednesday issued a notice to Banerjee for violating the model code of conduct, after she allegedly urged the Muslim community to vote en block for the TMC.
The TMC supremo, during her campaign in Domjur assembly seat, also sought to know why no complaint has been registered against BJP star campaigner and Prime Minister Narendra Modi, alleging that he often makes references to Hindu and Muslim votebanks while delivering speeches.
“You (EC) can issue 10 show cause notices to me but my reply will be the same. I will always speak against any division in Hindu, Muslim votes. I will always stand against division of voters along religious lines,” the TMC supremo said.
“Why is that no complaint has been filed against Narendra Modi, who every day talks about Hindu and Muslim (votebanks)? How many complaints have been lodged against those who had uttered the word ‘mini Pakistan’ during the Nandigram campaigns?” the CM said.
Mamata fears intimidation by central forces
Apprehending that a section of central paramilitary forces may visit villages to intimidate people, chief minister Mamata Banerjee on Thursday asked voters to be on guard.
Addressing a public meeting here in Hooghly district, Banerjee alleged central forces are working on instructions of the “Union home ministry run by Amit Shah.”
“I have respect for the central paramilitary forces but they are working on instructions from Delhi. They are committing atrocities on villagers before polling day, some of them are even harassing women. They are asking people to vote for BJP. We will not allow this to continue,” the TMC chief said.
Banerjee called upon the state police force “to keep vigil and not to bow their heads before Delhi.
“Your job is to ensure free and fair polls, please be stern with trouble makers and keep your integrity intact.”
Asking villagers to lodge FIRs at local police station in case of any excess committed by central forces, the chief minister said, “If the police station refuses to accept the FIRs, inform us”. Blaming BJP for “spreading lies about promulgation of section 144 in an entire constituency,” the TMC supremo said, “They (BJP) spreads lies to create panic. In reality, section 144 is in force within 200m of a booth. But they are doing this to prevent our voters from going to polling stations.”
Miss Banerjee asked polling agents to be vocal and to protest any “misdeed by BJP and security forces”.
Asking voters not to turn West Bengal into “another Gujarat” by voting for the saffron party, she said, “If you wish to protect the oldest Durga puja in Guptipara, if you wish to protect our festivals like Durga Puja, please ensure the defeat of BJP.”
Banerjee, who iterated the TMC government’s commitment to protect the heritage Rathyatra in Mahesh, the celebrations at Bandel Church, the unique Santhal festivals in Jangalmahal, chanted ‘Chandi Mantra’ while wrapping up her speech.
Banerjee said the candidate for the reserved Balagarh seat Manoranjan Byapari is chairman of state-run Dalit Sahitya Academy.
She exuded confidence that Byapari would always stand by the marginalised in the constituency.
She alleged, “It has come to notice that a section of central forces are intimidating voters and influencing them to vote for BJP. Some jawans have misbehaved with the women.” She advised that victims of such alleged atrocities by central forces must lodge an FIR and inform the party senior leadership if any police station refuses to accept the FIR.
The chief minister also lauded the sacrifice of the central forces.
~With inputs from PTI~